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Command Window Idea

Posted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 6:09 am
by Monk
In addition to an improved menuing system another feature in Battlegrounds I think would blow the competition out of the water would be a command window. Now imagine you have your characters on your map and everything is in place. Now you have throw an area spell marker on the map. Wouldn't it be great to be able to do this

> areaofeffect(10, 30, 10, "Fire Ball")

and suddenly on the map on grid marker (10,30) pops up an area of effect marker 10 hexes in radius that when you scroll over has a tool tip "Fire Ball"? That is, all you are doing is allowing the user to type in a command which can quickly perform a task that the user would otherwise perform by clicking a hex or square or player and selecting the proper menu. You could even expand the idea above with

> clearall(areaofeffect)

which clears all areaofeffect spells or

>clear(areaofeffect, 10,30)

which would clear the area of effect spell on marker 10,30

Granted this is a HUGE feature that would require a manual for all the commands but I find myself really wishing I had this rather than having to constantly use the mouse for everything.

Just a thought. 8)

Shoot based on how complex you made your Flash extensions I would write this.

Posted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:30 am
by heruca
I was thinking that a better way to go would be to just have a "Area of Effect" command in a unit's contextual popup menu that, when selected, would open up a panel containing graphical controls for specifying the AoE type, size, color, and/or orientation, perhaps with a text field for inputting a mouseover note or an on-screen text label.

IMO, having to type in text-based commands is both harder and slower, and a typo would cause you to start all over. What do others think?

Posted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 12:53 pm
by Kazander
heruca wrote:IMO, having to type in text-based commands is both harder and slower, and a typo would cause you to start all over. What do others think?
This.

Command windows are a great idea in the right situation. They work well when you have a core group of commands (usually a small list) that you use regularly. You use them enough that the command syntax becomes second nature, and you don't have to look it up.

They also work very well in situations where it is advantageous to support command scripting, for any of various reasons.

However, in the context of BRPG, I see little use for it. The frequency of use for any given command just isn't high enough, especially since I play at most once per week, that the syntax would be committed to memory in any meaningful way. If you end up having to look it up, then you aren't saving any time at all compared to using the menus.

I think your time would be much better spend streamlining the menu system, as has been previously suggested, and working on making the various selection windows more efficient, as has also been previously suggested.

Posted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 3:07 pm
by Monk
Makes sense. :)

Posted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 5:30 pm
by Omnidon
One advantage of having command console functions would be that it would make those functions more readily available to Flash.

After all, any function that is otherwise only available through the UI will just need to be added to the Flash API eventually anyway.

Of course, this could go both ways. We could eventually add console commands using the Flash API if you create the API first.

Another vote for menus

Posted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 9:44 am
by markuwp
I think part of the appeal of BRPG is that you don't need to remember a bunch of codes and commands. I think the shortcut keys are a good compromise to allow users to access things quickly, but otherwise menus make sense.

I do, however, like where Monk was going with the area of effect command. I use drawing tools for areas of effect, which works well for some things and very poorly for others. It's a snap for round shapes, such as explosions, but doesn't work well at all for things like cones. I would love a system that allowed you to create effects of particular user-defined sizes with the possibility of labeling them. It would be great to click on a space or unit, select "Area of effect-- rectangle, circle, or triangle (cone)," select whether to have it center on or emanate from the spot, and then type in a size (length and width or radius). The "emanate from" version would need to freely rotate around the origination space, and would be particularly useful for cones, beams, or even things like drawing in a web spell or putting up a new wall in a hurry (using a very narrow rectangle).
heruca wrote:I was thinking that a better way to go would be to just have a "Area of Effect" command in a unit's contextual popup menu that, when selected, would open up a panel containing graphical controls for specifying the AoE type, size, color, and/or orientation, perhaps with a text field for inputting a mouseover note or an on-screen text label.

IMO, having to type in text-based commands is both harder and slower, and a typo would cause you to start all over. What do others think?